Missouri Whistleblower Laws

What are Whistleblower Laws?

Most states have laws protecting government and/or private sector employees who report the illegal or unethical activities of their employers -- referred to as whistleblowers. Generally, these laws prohibit employers from retaliating against whistleblowers, by firing them or otherwise punishing them for reporting illegal activities to authorities. Remedies typically are limited to civil lawsuits.

Overview of Missouri Whistleblower Laws

Missouri whistleblower laws protect public employees only. Specifically, the law states that a supervisor or "appointing authority" of any state agency may not:

  • Prevent an employee from discussing the agency's operations with any member of the state legislature, auditor, attorney general, or any other state official charged with investigating misconduct.
  • Take disciplinary action against a state employee for disclosure of any prohibited activity or information that the employee reasonably believes either (1) violates the law, or (2) shows mismanagement or abuse of authority.
  • Require the employee to give notice to the supervisor before reporting the violation or misdeed to the proper authorities.

If an employee is able to show "by clear and convincing evidence" that a supervisor or appointing authority violated the Missouri whistleblower law, then he or she may collect for damages and attorney fees.

Code Section 105.055
Prohibited Employer Activity Can not take or prohibit disciplinary action if employee discusses operations of agency, with any member of legislature or state auditor, any violation of law, rule or regulation, mismanagement, gross waste of public funds, abuse of authority, or substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, as long as disclosure not specifically prohibited by law
Protection for Public or Private Employees? Public
Opportunity for Employer to Correct? No prior notice required
Remedies Can file an administrative appeal, if disciplinary action taken, with state personnel advisory board within 30 days of action; board can modify and/or reverse disciplinary action and order appropriate relief
Penalties State personnel advisory board can recommend that violator be suspended without pay for maximum 30 days; if willful or repeated violation, recommend forfeiture and disqualification of appointment or state employment for a maximum of 2 years

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Missouri whistleblower attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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